UK enacts email system to report smoking violations

By Morgan Eads
news@kykernel.com

Even since the inception of the smoking ban on campus in November 2009, congregations of smokers are still seen around campus.

The UK Tobacco-Free Campus Initiative Task Force hopes to push the campus toward being truly tobacco-free.

To report tobacco use, a student or employee can now email ReportTFviolation@uky.edu with the location, time and a detailed description of the violation.

“We don’t expect people to go up and ask people their names, but the more details the better. If they give a large area we can’t really follow up,” Dr. Ellen Hahn, co-chair of the task force, said.

Hahn said that with the reports, ambassadors would use the details, trends and known “hot spots” to find the offenders.

The legitimacy of the claims will be ensured by follow-up contact with many who make reports and the fact that vague reports will not be followed without further contact.

Students who are caught violating the no-smoking policy are reported to the dean of students.

First time offenders will not be punished harshly, and treatment will be made available to those who are interested.

Some non-smokers agree that dealing with cigarette smoke on campus can be a pain.

“I know I don’t like to go around smelling cigarette smoke all the time,” said biosystems engineering freshman Stephen Cecconi.

Some think that people are unlikely to take time out of their day to report violators.

“I don’t think someone is going to take the time to tell on someone,” history senior Marquess Dawson said.

One student thought that the system might be more effective if it used a method other than email.

“I don’t think people would take the time to do all of that, especially since it’s email. If I were to ever do it, I’d probably do a text over an email,” said elementary education junior Sarah Quade.

Hahn believes this system is more convenient than those in the past, so people are more likely to use it.

She also said there have been about 15 reports using the system since the news release went out.

The success or failure of this system will hinge on whether or not people actually use it.

“We just want to remind everyone that this is all about health and creating a healthy environment for everyone on our campus and I’m really proud of our university for doing this,” Hahn said.

Orwell says:

This is really, really disturbing. What’s next? Do we need a place where people can tattle on each other for drinking on campus property? For underage drinking? For speeding? For not stopping at the crosswalks on Rose? For riding motorized scooters on campus sidewalks? For littering? And what’s to prevent someone from posting something untrue because they’re mad at someone? This reporting system is a very bad idea.

SmokinDave says:

Is it just me, or does this smack a bit of “Do your duty-report your neighbor if you suspect he is a Jew.” Uncomfortably close Herr Capaluto.

Nawt Mee says:

Karen: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2012/09/20/secondhand-smoke-takes-big-illness-expense-toll

42,000 people per year say that you are incorrect.

I loathe cigarette smoke. I will use this new system. I walked past the entrance of the Young Library the other day, and there were at least a dozen people smoking, right there at the corner of the building under the overhang. There’s also that one spot next to ChemPhys and the President’s House where everyone lights up. These are major traffic thoroughfares. So yes, I will report these people. Heck, I’ll probably take pictures of them smoking and submit those, too.

Don’t smoke near me. Ever.

John Doe says:

Thomas,

You can’t exactly walk around someone when they are smoking on a sidewalk.

-John

Karen Carey says:

I am appalled at the lengths this woman will go to. Nicotine use is comparable to caffeine use. Using a nicotine product that is proven to not harm bystanders does not call for this level of control. Sad.

Thomas Kelsay says:

First:Don’t we have better things to due than police people who chose to smoke. If you don’t like the smell walk the other way.
Second: I cannot even begin to describe the hypocrisy of a University that bans tobacco but has a research institute on campus for tobacco. And they ain’t researching ways to get people to quit smoking either. This is a land grant university founded on agriculture, and a HUGE part of Kentucky ag is tobacco. I am a tobacco farming legacy myself, without tobacco there would have been a lot of years my family would have gone without. What i’m trying to say is grow up we’re adults. If you don’t like the smell stand somewhere else. Keep smoking boys your paying my families bills.

A former smoker
Thomas